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E-commerce saw 17% growth post lockdown, driven by demand in tier 3 cities, says report

Sectors such as electronics & home appliances, fashion & accessories, health & pharma and FMCG saw an average growth of 133 per cent, says the report by Unicommerce.

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New Delhi: Despite the Covid-19 crisis and economic downturn, the e-commerce industry in India saw an upward trend post lockdown, registering a 17 per cent increase in order volume as of June 2020, when compared to the pre-lockdown period.

Sectors such as electronics and home appliances, fashion and accessories, health and pharma, and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) did particularly well, with an average growth of 133 per cent in sales.

The results were according to a report released Thursday by Unicommerce, an e-commerce software platform.

Titled ‘E-Commerce Trend Report’, it further stated that the top three states in terms of e-commerce volumes were Delhi-NCR, Maharashtra and Karnataka. Together, these states constituted 65 per cent of the overall consumer demand in the country that has otherwise seen a massive slowdown in the economy.

Online delivery platforms such as Jiomart, Swiggy and Zomato were able to meet consumer demands at a faster pace by making hyperlocal deliveries after tying up with local grocery stores, the report added.

The study was conducted in two parts a pre-Covid period (February 2019 to February 2020) and post-Covid (from February to June 2020).

The consumer electronics sector, noted the report, contributed to the maximum revenue growth in India’s e-commerce industry post lockdown. Smartphones brought in the maximum revenue, followed by television and other white goods. Overall, the electronics segment saw a growth of 22 per cent till June.

Also read: India has cheap internet & good e-governance, but lacks good digital life quality, finds study

Tier III cities onward saw fastest growth

While some metros cornered two-thirds of the overall e-commerce business, tier III cities onward saw the fastest growth at 53 per cent, said the report.

It also noted that the top five tier III cities contributed 22 per cent of the total volume, while the top five metro cities made for 90 per cent of the overall orders.

“Though traditional metro cities have seen higher growth than the rest of India in order of volume, this trend has reversed post Covid-19. The rest of India witnessed a growth of over 31%, which was primarily contributed by growth in Tier III,” the report reads.

Currently, tier II and beyond cities contribute around 66 per cent of the total online consumer demand in India. This is expected to rise in the coming years, the report said.

In the pre-Covid period, sectors which showed growth (when compared to previous year’s sales) were beauty and wellness with an unprecedented order volume growth of 130 per cent followed by FMCG and agriculture, and health and pharma (with growth rate of 55 per cent and 38 per cent respectively).

Limited availability and fear of infection, post lockdown, has led to a shift in consumer behaviour and a subsequent rush of online customers, said the report.

Also read: Revenge consumption — the new shopping trend that can shake up sleepy markets post-Covid


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